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For Undergrad: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Stanford?

  1. Oct 6, 2009 #1
    I'm just wondering, but if you are a good student at HYPMS or maybe even UPenn, is there a good chance of earning near 100K fresh out of college? Or is this just a big misconception that most ambitious high school students have?
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  3. Oct 6, 2009 #2


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    The chances of earning 100k fresh out of college are very low, and highly dependent on what career field you're looking at, rather than what university you're coming from
  4. Oct 6, 2009 #3
    Way to not even ask a complete question. A student in English can't expect to make the same salary as someone in engineering or medical school. And no, unless you're in the top 1% AND very luck, I'd say your chances at starting out with 100k per year with no prior experience were slim when the economy was good. Now? No chance, keep dreaming.
  5. Oct 6, 2009 #4
    I matriculated into Yale as a freshman in 1977 with their advanced physics program. I now make $13.50/hr from a social science job. Life has a funny way...though I wouldn't trade it to live over.
  6. Oct 6, 2009 #5
    Your not being serious are you? That investment in $200000 education would have amounted to nothing.
  7. Oct 6, 2009 #6


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    You're not going to make that in the sciences, not even after many, many years. But people don't go into the sciences for the money.

    If you go into the sciences, you want to get a PhD.

    Here is earnings information for physicists, not bad.


    You can look up salaries for various occupations on this site.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  8. Oct 6, 2009 #7
    Annual undergraduate tuition and board at Yale amounted to ~$10,000 in 1977. If I told you I developed a serious mental illness as a sophomore, would my story be more believable? Money does make a difference, but I hope you will find much of life more valuable.
  9. Oct 6, 2009 #8
    I've had this conversation many times with graduate students. Certainly, the answer will depend upon the job market when you graduate.

    Your concern is understandable as you've made a substantial investment in your education and you want to calculate the return on investment and plan for the future.

    It is very important that you find a career path that will give you personal satisfaction. The more you like your profession, the longer you'll stay with it - and the rewards should follow.
  10. Oct 6, 2009 #9


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    Excellent reply. I would whole heartedly encourage you to go after a profession you enjoy as opposed to what you think will earn you the most money. Times change and what may appear to be lucrative today could be disastrous tomorrow.
  11. Oct 7, 2009 #10


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    100k out of university lol

    expect 30-40k, if you're in a good field.

    Philosophy, english, women's studies....expect minimum wage, if you can find a job to begin with.
  12. Oct 7, 2009 #11
    Those looks like very pessimistic numbers.

    If have seen some cases (from my university) where people reached high salaries very soon after graduating, but they were either lucky or talented. They started their own companies.

    If someone is talented and after money he can earn 100k even before finishing the university IMO. Which university or which program he/she attends is irrelevant.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  13. Oct 7, 2009 #12


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    I agree, unless starting salaries have not changed in the last 15-20 years.

    Though, I think the OP's question is poorly asked. Depending on your field, you might be able to make $100K out of college, or at least $80K, but I think the question the OP wanted to ask, but didn't, is whether attending one of those expensive, big-name schools makes that any more likely than attending your state university (or any other university). I don't think so, unless you're going into politics, in which case the connections with rich families matters.

    Well, then again, one needs to consider the location of those universities. A lot of people look for first jobs near where they go to school, so if your school happens to be in an overly expensive part of the country with higher wages, it'll look like your graduates are getting hired into better paying jobs than someone graduating from a school in the midwest. And, it's true, they may earn a higher salary. However, they may not get as much for it. The person with the lower salary in the midwest may have a lot more buying power with their money if everything around them costs a lot less.
  14. Oct 8, 2009 #13
    I know many guys who graduated with a 3.2 GPA in mechanical engineering who started off making 65,000 dollars a year. They graduated with me from a school that is nowhere near as competitive and honored as those you mention.
  15. Oct 8, 2009 #14
    Engineers make near 60k on average out of undergrad at large companies. The top grads going to the top management consulting firms might make near 70k. You can earn a little bit more doing something dumb like living on an oil rig. No one makes a 6 figure salary directly out of undergrad.
  16. Oct 9, 2009 #15
    Then why do people go to really prestigious undergrads???
    My auto-admit school is University of Texas at Austin. Still applying to Harvard, Stanford, and MIT (have a shot but no guarantee).
  17. Oct 9, 2009 #16
    Having the brand name still gives you a better shot at those 70k jobs. It's not about starting salary - it's about the experience you get. A brand name school will help get your a brand name job (Goldman, Mckinsey, GE, etc) which will help get you a brand name business school or will just get you fast tracked on the career ladder. Those who attend top business or law schools can make $150k+ 4-5 years out of college.

    Of course, having the brand name school isn't necessary if you prove yourself other ways. College reputation is most certainly overrated in high school. A 3.4 from MIT will not beat out a 3.9 from State U. There's also a lot more than gpa to consider, but that's another thread.

    Most important is the experience you get in college and how you build your resume. In the grand scheme of your resume, school name is one relatively small factor. All it shows is how you performed in high school or how rich your parents are, which employers don't care about.
  18. Oct 10, 2009 #17

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    To get an education.

    There was once a time, long ago, when people went to colleges and universities to become educated. If people wanted to learn something to enable them to get a job, they went to trade schools. This distinction is becoming ever more blurred.
  19. Oct 12, 2009 #18
    So has the allure of big-name universities been decreasing gradually over the years?
  20. Oct 12, 2009 #19
    Which, in my opinion, is unfortunate.
  21. Oct 12, 2009 #20
    You're assuming that prestige and the quality of education are directly correlated. This would be the case if everyone were only interested in the quality of education, but, as you just pointed out, they aren't.

    I'm not sure that the most prestigious schools always offer the highest quality undergraduate education. Prestige, in itself, is only useful for building a resume. It only has to do with education quality as far as the two are (questionably) correlated.

    USNews rankings are arguably the most influential when it comes to building or setting the prestige of a University. Many of the factors they use have nothing to do with the quality of education.

    All of this can be seen especially in business schools. Business school curricula are fairly standard, but a Harvard MBA grad will make twice as much as a UCONN MBA grad. No one pays the ridiculous Harvard tuition for the education - it's for the prestige itself. It's for the network and because employers recognize the difficulty of getting past the admissions committee.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2009
  22. Oct 12, 2009 #21


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    <clapping>Well said.<clapping> :approve:
  23. Oct 13, 2009 #22
    So people that when to college in that era didn't get jobs after they got their degree?
  24. Oct 13, 2009 #23


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    Well, why are you applying yourself?
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